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What to know when considering an advanced health care directive

Planning for the future can be a daunting task, especially when you don’t know what lies ahead. An advanced health care directive allows you to remain in control over what happens to you in the event of incapacitation.

Two common types of advanced directives are health care directives/proxies and living wills.

What is a health care directive/proxy?

A health care proxy is a document where you appoint someone to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. This could be a close friend or relative you trust.

What are the benefits of setting up a health care directive?

  • Your medical decision is based on current information
  • Someone you trust gets to make a medical decision for you based on your values and beliefs
  • By having a proxy, you’re preparing for the unexpected

What is a living will?

A living will is a document where you specify what type of treatment you would want if certain situations were to arise. These situations can include severe mental illnesses, comas and difficult pregnancies.

What are the benefits of setting up a will?

  • You get to voice your beliefs and concerns
  • You make your own decisions
  • You can revoke a living will at any time

Overall, either of these choices may be the right fit depending on your personal situation. Considering which of these options might be right for you and understanding the components of each is a good step toward taking control of your future.

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